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The Chicago Cinch Club, 


Copyrighted 1891 


The Chicago Cinch Club. 

Slason Thompson & Co., Chicago. 


Cinch, as it is now piayed, is by far the 
most entertaining and scientific of all the 
offsprings of the game of Seven-up. Tak- 
ing its proper place amongst club card 
games but a short time ago, it has become 
more popular than all others, and to the 
end that uniformity of play may generally 
exist, the following rules have been com- 
piled and submitted to the best known 
Cinch players, and accepted and endorsed 
by them as properly governing all points 
that have arisen in the game or that may at 
any time become a matter of controversy. 

The Chicago Cinch Club. 

December isth, 1890. 


1. Cinch is played with a pack of fifty- 
two cards, and two, three or four persons 
can play at one time. 

2. The game consists of forty-two points 
and the player or players first scoring that 
number win the game. 


3. The players cut for deal, the lowest 
card having the deal, the Ace being the 
lowest card in cutting. The player entitled 
to the deal shall, after the cards have been 
properly shuffled and cut, give nine cards 
to each player, three at a time, and in 
regular rotation to the left. No trump is 



4. The pack must be shuffled above the 
table and so that the face of no card can 
be seen. 

5. Each player has a right to shuffle, 
once only. The dealer has always the 
right to shuffle last. Should any card be 
seen during his shuffling or whilst giving 
the pack to be cut, he can be compelled to 

6. Each player deals in his turn; the 
right of dealing goes to the left. 

7. The player on the dealer's right is 
compelled to cut, and in so doing must 
not leave fewer than four cards in either 
packet. If in cutting or in replacing the 
packets one upon the other a card be 
exposed, or if there be any doubt as to the 
exact place in which the pack was divided, 
there shall be a fresh cut. 

8. If the dealer deals without having 
the cards properly cut, or if a card is faced 
in the pack, or if the dealer in any way 



expose any of his adversary's cards, or if 
he give to any player too few or too many 
cards, there must be a fresh deal. If the 
dealer expose any of his own cards, the 
deal stands good. 

9. A dealer does not lose- his deal w^hen 
a misdeal occurs. 

10. If at any time during the deal or 
play of the hand the pack be proved to be 
incorrect or imperfect, a new deal shall be 
made and no points scored; or if any card 
be^faced in the pack, there must be a new 
deal; or should a dealer omit to have the 
pack cut to him, and the adversary dis- 
cover the error prior to the last three cards 
being dealt, and before looking at their 
cards, a new deal can be claimed by them. 

11. If during the play of a hand it is 
discovered that any player, other than the 
dealer, has too many or too few cards, it 
shall constitute a misdeal. Should the 
dealer's hand be found imperfect, he shall 



be called upon to discard all beyond what 
he is entitled to, or draw from the discard 
pile enough cards to complete his hand, 
but he can not take up any trumps from 
the discard to make his hand good. 

12. If before the deal is completed or a 
card led by the buyer of the trump privilege 
it is discovered that the cards are being 
dealt out of turn, it shall constitute a mis- 
deal, and the player whose turn it is to 
deal shall re-shuffle the cards and deal; 
but if the deal has been completed and a 
card led and quitted by the player naming 
the trump, the party dealing shall have 
established his right to the deal and the 
game shall continue, and the player to the 
left of the dealer shall take the next deal. 

13. The following are the points that 
can be scored and are given in their regular 
order of precedence: 

High. — The highest trump out. The 
holder scores 1 point. 



Low. — The lowest trump out. The win- 
ner of the trick containing it scores 1 point. 

Jack. — The knave of trumps. The win- 
ner of the trick containing it scores 1. 

Game. — The ten-spot of trumps. The 
winner of the trick containing it scores 1 

Pedro. — The five-spot of trumps. The 
winner of the trick containing it scores 5 

Cinch. — The five-spot of the opposing 
suit (same color as the trump). The win- 
ner of the trick containing it scores 5 

Low can be taken by any trump. 
Jack can be taken with any higher 

Game can be taken with any higher 

Pedro can be taken with any higher 



Cinch can be taken with any trump 
higher than the four-spot. 

Thus 14 points can be made in a single 

14. The loser of a game has the option 
of the first deal in the next game. 

15. After the cards have been dealt, as 
per rule No. 3, the eldest hand (the player 
to the left of the dealer) proceeds to bid 
for the privilege of naming the trump; 
each player in turn has the right to make 
one bid and no more. 

16. The bidding proceeds in rotation, be- 
ginning with the eldest hand. The dealer 
has the right to the last say and may either 
sell to the highest bidder or decline to sell, 
in which latter case he is forced to raise 
the bid and names the trump himself. 

17. A player whose bid has been ac- 
cepted commences the play, and, after 
naming the trump, discards from his hand 
to the center of the table, faces up, three 



or more cards as he may elect, the other 
players having the same privilege, the 
dealer discarding last. The dealer is then 
called upon by the different players who 
have discarded more than three cards to 
help them to as many cards as they have 
discarded in excess of three, or enough to 
complete a hand of six cards, that being 
the number that each player must hold 
when the play commences. The cards are 
helped in the order of the deal, the eldest 
hand (the one first to the left of the dealer) 
being helped first. 

18. The deal being now completed, the 
player naming the trump must lead, but 
a trump lead is not compulsory. Each 
player, beginning with the player to the 
left of the leader, plays a card to the lead, 
and when all the players have played, that 
constitutes a trick. The player taking the 
trick shall then lead for the next trick. 

19. Each player must follow suit if he 



can, unless he choose to trump. If he has 
no card of the suit led, he is not compelled 
to trump, but may play a card of any suit 
he chooses. The highest card of the suit 
led, unless trumped, wins the trick, and 
the winner of the trick has the next lead. 

20. The playing proceeds in this way 
until all the cards held by each player 
have been played. After the hands are all 
played, the points are properly scored and 
a new deal commences. This continues 
until forty-two points have been scored by 
some pla3^er or side, 

21. The player buying the privilege of 
naming the trump is entitled to score all 
the points he may make; but if he fail to 
make as many points as the amount bid 
by him, he must be set back just the 
number of points bid — he cannot score 
anything he may have made during the 
play of that hand. 

22. The amount bid by a player for the 



privilege of naming the trump is not scored 
by any of the other players, but is simply 
held against the bidder as a set-back pen- 
alty in the case of a failure to win the 
number of points he elects to by his bid. 

23. If no bid is made by the other play- 
ers, the dealer is forced to bid one and 
name the trump. 

24. The buyer of the trump privilege 
is entitled to add to his score all points 
that may be found in the discard pile 
after the play of the hand, as it is fair to 
presume the error in discard v/as made by 
the adversaries. 

25. If any player, under the impression 
that the game is either won, or lost, or 
for any other reason, throws his cards on 
the table, face upwards, such cards are ex- 
posed and can be called by the opposing 
player or players. 

26. Should any player draw a card from 
his hand with the intention of playing 



same, and in any way expose it, that card 
must be played unless by so doing a revoke 
will be made, in which case the card so 
drawn and exposed will be subject to call 
at any time. 

27. Any one during the play of a trick, 
or after the cards are played, and before, 
but not after, they are touched for the pur- 
pose of gathering them together, may de- 
mand that the cards be placed before their 
respective pla3^ers. 

28. If a bystander make any remark 
which calls the attention of a player or 
players to an oversight affecting the score, 
he can be called upon to pay all bets or 
stakes on that game. 

29. A bystander, by agreement of the 
players, may decide any question. 

30. Any player may demand to see the 
last trick turned and no more. 

31. If a player make a revoke, he is 
debarred from scoring any points he ma}'' 



have made in the play of that hand, and 
all points contained in the tricks taken by 
him shall be scored by the buyer of the 
trump; if the bidder revoke, he shall be set 
back the number of points bid by him. 

32. A revoke is established as soon as 
the trick in which it occurs is turned and 
quitted, or a card has been led for the next 

33. The question of *'how many cards 
did you draw,'* addressed to any of the 
players after a card has been played, is 
irregular, and if asked should not be an- 


34. In four-handed Cinch, the players 
usually decide who shall be partners by 
cutting the cards, the two highest playing 
against the two lowest. Two players cut- 
ting cards of equal value, unless such cards 
are the two highest, cut again. Should 
they be the two lowest, a fresh cut is ne- 



cessary to decide which of the two deals. 

35. The partners sit opposite each other, 
the same as at Whist. In cutting for part- 
ners, the AcE is the lowest card and the 
player cutting the lowest card shall deal. 

36. In a four-handed game (partners) 
the dealer discards all of his cards that 
are not trumps and selects what cards he 
desires from all of the pack that remains 
after the other players have been helped. 
Should there be more trumps in the un- 
dealt cards than the dealer requires to make 
good his hand, he selects what cards he 
wants and lays the remaining cards in the 
discard pile, faces up. If there should not 
be enough cards remaining after the other 
players have been helped to complete his 
hand, he shall draw cards from the discard 
of his own hand. 

37. The discarding, etc., in a four- 
handed game, is governed by rule No. 17, 
w4th this exception — the dealer discards 



first. This is done that the dealer may 
show the strength of his hand to his part- 
ner, who can then use proper judgment in 
discarding from his hand, declining to call 
for any cards if he thinks that by so doing 
his partner's hand will be strengthened. 

38. If any player lead out of turn, his 
adversary may either call the card so led, 
or may call on him or his partner to lead 
any suit when it is next the turn of either 
to lead. But if any player leads out of 
turn and the other players have followed 
him and played, the trick is complete and 
the error cannot be rectified. 

39. If any one, prior to his partner play- 
ing, should call attention to the trick — 
either by saying it is his or by naming his 
card, or, without being asked to, should 
draw it towards him — the adversaries may 
require that opponent's partner to play the 
highest or lowest of the suit then led, or to 
win or lose the trick. 



40. If during the bidding for the trump 
privilege any player should name the suit 
he is bidding on before the dealer has 
accepted his bid, or if he should in any 
other way give any information as to the 
suit he intends naming for trump, in case 
his bid should be accepted the dealer may 
call for a new deal, if he so desires, and 
in such an event shall not lose his deal. 

41. If during the discarding from a 
hand, or during the drawing of cards, or if 
at any time during the play of a hand a 
player should in any way expose a trump 
held by him, the opposing players may 
either claim a new deal or exact the pen- 
alty incurred by exposing a card. (See 
Rule 26.) It is not expected that a new 
deal should be demanded for the uninten- 
tional exposure of a minor trump card, or 
one that could possibly have no bearing on 
the result of the play of the hand. The 
privilege of claiming a new deal should 



only be taken advantage of when it is ap- 
parent that the card exposed would convey 
such information to the player's partner that 
would or could in any way affect his play. 


This game was the outcome of the lei- 
sure moments of some of our representa- 
tives in Washington, and has the great 
merit of being very amusing, and can be 
played by four, five, or six people, making 
a very entertaining parlor game. 

The rules governing it are the same in 
the abstract as those governing regular 
Cinch, with the following differences: 
When five or six play the game, but six 
cards are originally dealt. Each player 
acts independently of all the other players 
in bidding for the trump privilege, as 
there are no partners, in the proper accep- 
tation of the term. After the trump is 
named, the cards all discarded and the 
hands all helped, as far as the undealt 
cards will permit, the buyer of the trump 



calls upon a certain card to be his partner, 
and the party holding that card becomes 
his partner for that hand only, and all the 
other players combine against the two, and 
all points made by the buyer and his call 
are credited to their respective scores, as 
in the regular game, and the points made 
by the opposing parties are similarly scored, 
each player being credited with the full 
number of points made by their side. 
Should the buyer and his call fail to 
make the amount bid, they are each set 
back the number of points bid for the 
trump privilege. 

When the play of one deal has been 
completed and the points scored, another 
deal commences by the party whose legiti- 
mate turn it is to deal, and the bidding 
goes on as before, and the buyer again 
calls for an}^ card he may elect to, after 
his discard has been made and his hand 



If the buyer of the trump privilege feels 
that his hand is strong enough to make 
the amount bid by him, and he prefers to 
play without a partner, the calling and 
joining forces with any other player is not 
compulsory, but it is seldom that one hand 
can make a successful stand against three 
or four other hands. 

This play is continued until some one of 
the party has scored the required 42. 

If the game should be for a stake, and 
more than one player should score the 42 
simultaneously, the stake should be di- 
vided amongst the successful hands, 


Little can be said in regard to the value 
of cards or the method of play in a two- 
haaded game, as an average of fully one- 
half the pack will remain undealt, and 
the points in play being always uncer- 
tain, many hands are purely speculative, 



and the non-bidder can often, by declining 
to draw any cards, defeat his adversary 
who bid more than the real value of his 
hand, relying upon catching points in his 
opponent's hand. These pretty points of 
play, however, are more intuitive than 
aught else, and no rules could ever be 
formulated to cover them. 

In a game of three hands, the object of 
each player remains the same as in a two 
or four-handed game — to make points for 
his own score; but if he finds he is not 
able to succeed in that, his next endeavor 
should be to do all in his power to set back 
the buying player, who is striving to se- 
cure sufficient points to make his bid good. 
In doing this, however, proper attention 
should be paid to the state of the score and 
the play regulated accordingly. Thus it 
is good policy and equitable play, when a 
player holds points which he finds he can- 
not make, to play them if possible into the 



hands of the player whose score is lowest, 
even should the lowest score belong to the 

All good card players are aware of the 
importance of affording information as to 
the unplayed cards they hold, and in the 
game of Cinch this can be done not only 
by your play but by your bid; the rules 
governing such bids and plays must be 
iargel}^ conventional, and subject to modifi- 
cations, when necessary. Thus, if you are 
the age hand in a game of partners, if you 
should hold one or more five-spots and lit- 
tle other strength, a bid of five would con- 
vey to your partner that you had a five- 
spot, and he could strengthen his bid if he 
could know what color your five-spot was, 
which he can often do. A single Ace, with 
little or no support, in the hands of the age 
player, always warrants a bid of six, and 
your partner can often know just what suit 
your Ace is from. On an Ace and King of 



a suit, with any support at all, seven can 
be safely bid by the first bidder. 

The second player, in bidding, is not 
called upon to recognize the legitimate 
value of the cards he holds, as his partner 
is the dealer, and having all the remaining 
cards to draw from, has at least one point 
the advantage of the other players. 

The third player should raise the bid of 
the second player, if his cards warrant it, 
and in most cases bid the full value of 
his hand and force the dealer to give the 
largest possible bid if he wishes to name 
the trump. 

The dealer can afford to risk more on his 
hand than any other player, and the state 
of the score and his partner's bid should 
govern his offer. 

As before stated, these rules are purely 
conventional, and a good player will soon 
learn just when to force the fighting. 

Proper attention should at all times be 



paid to the score when bidding, for, if well 
ahead of your adversaries, you can afford 
to speculate a little on your partner's hand, 
unless you should be within three or four 
points of the goal, when conservative play 
is both judicious and advisable. When 
both scores are within six or seven points 
of the required number, always bear in 
mind that the five-spot of trumps counts 
before the Cinch, as you can often force 
the play you want by losing the Cinch to 
your opponents. 

It is a difficult matter to make any 
analysis of leads or hands in the game of 
Cinch. The play of a hand depends a 
great deal upon the amount bid, the num- 
ber of trumps held by you and the strength 
developed in the other hands by the dis- 

As buyer of trump, with Ace and one 
inferior trump, and your partner showing 
numerical strength by his draw, lead Ace 



at once to relieve your partner of any 
5-spot he may hold; with Ace and King 
alone, if no 5-spot falls upon your Ace 
lead, it is frequently good play to hold 
your King and lead an off-suit; v/ith Ace 
and King and one inferior trump, or 
Ace and two inferior trumps, the same 
policy is advisable. With four strong 
leads and no 5-spot, you can afford to be 
aggressive; at the same time, if your first 
lead be with an Ace and your partner plays 
no 5-spot upon it, and he showed two or 
more trumps from his discard, it is good 
pia}^ to lead an off-suit, letting your partner 
utilize his trumps by heading the trick in 
the 3rd play, thus strengthening your ow^n 
hand; when this course of play is adopted, 
your partner should lead you an off-suit in 
return, and your adversaries will soon give 
evidence of being in trouble. 

If your partner has four or more trumps 
it is a great help to his hand to have the 



trumps forced, and you should lead him 
your best card. If the buyer of a trump 
finds that either of his adversaries have a 
greater number of trumps than he has, 
he should try to equalize the hands, after 
his first lead, by leading an ofi-suit through 
or up to the longest hand — provided he 
knows his partner to have two or more 
trumps — otherwise he might just as well 
force the opposing hands by always lead- 
ing his best card. 

A 5-spot is an element of weakness in 
your hand, unless well guarded, as your 
play is often cramped by trying to protect 
it. With both Cinch and Pedro in your 
hand and two other trumps, it is often good 
play to lead your Cinch at the start, as it 
will draw one or more leading cards and 
thus strengthen both your own and your 
partner's hands; with both Cinch and Pedro 
in your hand and highest trump lead, or 
played by your partner, play your Cinch, as 



the play of the Pedro on your partner's 
lead should be accepted as evidence that 
the Cinch is not in your hand. 

When second player, with one or both 5- 
spots in your hand and inferior trump or 
off-suit led by first player, play your Cinch 
or Pedro and trust the trick to your p8.rt- 

After a few games a good player can 
become en rapport ^Nilh. his partner's method 
of play, and govern himself accordingly. 

In support of the lead of an off-suit, after 
the lead of an Ace or as the first lead, take 
the following hand: 

'* CLUBS trumps; deal anywpiere." 

x\ — Ace, King, Queen Clubs and three 
cards of other suits. 

Y— 10, 8, 6, 5, 3 Clubs and Cinch. 

B — Knave, 9, 7 Clubs and three cards of 
any other suit. 

Z — 4, 2 Clubs and four cards of any other 



If A leads his trumps successively, A and 
B can make but 3 points; if A leads trumps 
twice and then leads an o:ff-suit, A and B 
can make but 4 points. If, however, A 
leads trumps and then an off-suit, B's hand 
being properly played, A and B make 9 
points, and if A's first lead is an off-suit, 14 
points will be made by them. 

In like manner, suppose 

^'CLUBS trumps; deal anywhere." 

A — Ace, 7, 6, 4 Clubs and two other 
cards of any kind. 

Y — King, Queen, Knave, 10, 5 Clubs and 

B — 9, 3 Clubs and four other cards of 
any other suit. 

Z — 8, 2 Clubs and four other cards; 

A — King, Queen, 6, 3 Clubs and any other 
two cards. 

Y — Ace, Knave, 10, 9, 5 Clubs and Cinch. 
B — 8, 4 Clubs and four other cards. 



Z — 7, 2 Clubs and any other four cards. 

If A has bought the trump for 6 or 7, 
his only possible hope to make his bid 
would be by leading an off-suit as first 
lead. If Z held one of the 5-spots and Y 
one less trump, the result would be the 
same; or if Z one 5-spot and three trumps, 
or two 5 and two other trumps, the play 
would be the same — so that where the buy- 
ing side has but six trumps against their 
opponent's seven, an off-suit lead is at all 
times the safest. 

If your partner holds a 5-spot, your Ace 
is always sure of 6 points, whether led or 
not, and his first play conveys information 
on that score — if, for instance, on your off- 
suit lead your partner declines to head the 
trick, the inference is that he has no trump 
high enough, or has both 5-spots in his 
hand, and you can govern your play 
accordingly; if on the other hand he heads 
the trick, the inference is certain that he 



has not both the 5-spots in his hand, or is 
all trumps, and in many cases his return 
lead will convey to you the desired infor- 
mation, whether he has any 5 or not. 

With the amount bid safe in hand, it is 
often the best play to be aggressive and 
lead trumps; but with 7 or more bid and 
but three trumps or less, it can be safely 
assumed that in nearly all cases the off- 
suit lead is the wisest plan of action. Of 
course, w^ith a partner that does not under- 
stand the game, no rules for proper play 
can be laid down, but you must play your 
own hand as the emergency demands. 

Away back in the early part of the sev- 
enteenth century, when Whist was in its 
infancy, a short treatise on the rules and 
laws of the game was published anony- 
mously, and when Edmond Floyle ac- 
knowledged the authorship he became 
famous the world over, and though he has 
been dead over a hundred years, and the 



original treatise lost in the revised and 
unabridged works of modern authorities, 
he is still referred to by a large majority 
of people as the present standard author- 
ity on not only cards but all games, and 
"according to Hoyle" has become one of 
the necessar}^ phrases of the times. A 
closer study of the different leading games 
of cards has resulted in extensive and 
exhaustive analytical works, and the best 
soon becomes the acknowledged authority. 


In laying down any rules on the etiquette 
of Cinch, we cannot do better than to fol- 
low the etiquette of Whist as laid down 
by Cavendish, and as the future of Cinch 
will develop it as a co-equal of Whist, 
there is no reason why as much respect 
should not be paid to all its surroundings. 
Cavendish says: The following rules be- 
long to the established Etiquette of Whist. 



They are not called laws, as it is difficult 
— in some cases impossible — to apply any 
penalty to their infraction, and the only 
remedy is to cease to pla}^ with partners 
who habitually disregard them: 

Any one having the lead and several 
winning cards to play, should not draw a 
second card out of his hand until his part- 
ner has played to the first trick, such act 
being a distinct intimation that the former 
has played a winning card. 

No intimation whatever, by word or gest- 
ure, should be given by a player as to the 
state of his hand, or of the game. 

A player who desires the cards to be 
placed, or who demands to see the last 
trick, should do it for his own information 
only, and not in order to invite the atten- 
tion of his partner. 

No player should object to refer to a by- 
stander who professes himself uninterested 
in the game, and able to decide any dis- 



puted question of facts; as to who played 
any particular card, etc., etc. 

It is unfair to revoke purposely; having 
made a revoke, a player is not justified in 
making a second in order to conceal the 

Until the players have made such bets 
as they wish, bets should not be made with 

Bystanders should make no remark, 
neither should they by word or gesture 
give any intimation of the state of the 
game until concluded and scored, nor 
should they walk around the table to 
look at the different hands. 

No one should look over the shoulder of 
a player against whom he is betting. 

The Chicago Cinch Club, 
P. O. Box 548, 

Chicago, III.